tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC July 22, 2011 10:00am-11:00am PDT
health care mandate, republicans could lose the bush tax cuts. >> i'm willing to sign a plan including tough choices i would not normally make. the only people we have left to convince are some folks in the house of representatives. we're boing to keep working on that. >> and they've got their work cut out for them. it's not just republicans who need convincing. how will the president persuade angry democrats? we'll ask senate budget committee chairman kent conrad a founding member of the gang of six. fellow gang member senator warner and barney frank. breaking news in norway, an explosion rocks the prime minister's office building. two people are reported dead. 15 injured and an historic change here for the military. a major step towards finally getting rid of don't ask, don't tell. plus unspeakable tragedy unfolding half a world away in the horn of africa. the faces of famine. pictures that are hard to watch, but impossible to ignore.
actress and human rights advocate kristin davis just returned from the region and will join us this hour. good day, i'm andrea mitchell live in washington. the balanced budget amendment now shot down in the senate. and the mcconnell-reid fall back plan short of votes, there's only one plan left the plan crafted by the president and speaker boehner. but it's already underfire from the left and right. luke russert covers capitol hill and joins me now. luke, you've been doing a lot of reporting. there was an exclosive meeting yesterday and they were still venting this morning. that and the republican house problem. >> the meeting was yesterday. it was the senate democratic luncheon a lot of democrats were uncomfortable because jack lou was telling them the underpinnings of this plan possibly between speaker boner and president obama which would have some entitlement reform within there. third degree be spending cuts, but there's no guarantee of
added revenue. that upset a lot of democrats saying that added revenue needed to be in any deal. yesterday i spoke to rank and file republicans saying there wasn't an agreement like that as democrats were making it out to be. they expected to be an announcement of a deal next week. speaker boehner spoke to his house republican conference this morning saying a deal needed to be on the house floor on wednesday of next week. they want to abide by their 72-hour limit of viewing the deal. then the senate is going to need roughly a week to work on anything that speaker boehner and president obama put together. what exactly will it look like. we're hearing in the neighborhood of $3 trillion in cuts. the final thing is there has to be some sort of trigger mechanism meaning that they're not going to deal with the revenue issue right up front. they vote for some cuts. vote for some restructuring of entitlements. possibly count military spending in iraq and afghanistan. what they need to look at specifically is with the promise
of doing tax reform in the fall through december what is the guaranteed tax reform gets done and there is new revenue. you eluded to it. republicans say if democrats don't keep up their end of the bargain we get rid of president obama's individual mandate. democrats say we get rid of the bush tax kults 250 or above. they're working on the trigger mechanism. it's going to take many differentists and turns. it's looking like wednesday is the closest thing we've heard all along in this process that a firm deadline needed to work out the compromise. >> luke, some exclosive issues in that mix. this is going to be a really interesting negotiation to follow. >> a long way to go, andrea. there's still a long way to go. next week's the real crunch time. we'll have a fun weekend. >> thank you, luke up up on the hill for us. senator kent conrad chairs the budget committee and is a member of the gang of six and joins me
now senator, your colleagues have been exploding over the secrecy of this. you can say nothing is going to be negotiated with 51 members of the senate. so it has to be negotiated between the president and the speaker. but we heard a lot of anger from mccull ski, from feinstein today. what do you say to your colleagues about the way it's being negotiated? >> look, i understand the frustration, but at the end of the day, what's critically important is the result for our country. there isn't a way for everybody to be in the room. there have to be a limited number of people negotiate a plan that then comes back to all of us. we're all going to have an opportunity to debate, to discuss and to vote again what's critically important is that we get a result for the nation. this is a defining moment. it is a critical time our country is at risk. it is absolutely essential that
we extend the debt. but that we do more than that. it is also critically important that we deal with the deal because that is now a gross debt of the united states. 100% of the size of our economy. and that requires a response as well. >> but let me just ask, some of your democrat colleagues would say and democrats in the house would say you're giving up, you're giving up the president's giving up, a lot of entitlement cuts, a lot of serious cuts in discretionary programs on a promise of tax revenue down the road. are you giving up too much on the democratic side? >> well, let me just say that i've not been part of this negotiation. that's the white house and speaker boehner. the negotiation i've been part of is a group of six. and interestingly enough we're getting attacked from both sides. we've got the left saying we've begin up to the republicans on
the right they say the group of six went too far in the direction of the democrats. both of them can't be right. i think we struck a principal compromise. yes there's revenue, but we achieve out by lowering rates and broadening the base, reforming the tax system. also reforming entitlements and yes, cutting spending on the discretionary side including defense. so i think we've got a fairly balanced proposal that does represent a true compromise. i hope whatever happens at the white house will embody many of the details of what we've proposed. >> senate, i want to ask you about the no tax pledge that 41 senators and 234 members of the house are signed. grover norquist the author of this. it goes back to 1986, i don't have to tell you. i sat down with grover norquist today and asked why the elimination as scheduled of the bush tax cuts would not -- would violate the pledge?
he is saying as he said today again in "the new york times," read my lips no new taxes that it would violate the pledge. this was his answer. >> one just has to recognize that in changing the 2001, 2003 rules are you dramatically increasing revenue. you're increasing the total cost to government. >> you're not changing the rules were set to expire. there's no change. you're not voting for anything. you're just letting something happen. >> if congress -- if congress -- to get into hypotheticals can martians came and took everybody away and something lapsed -- but congress is sitting here meeting. congress wants to spend the money. the challenge is how do we reduce the overspending as part of an agreement on a debt ceiling, tax increases are off the table. >> what do you say to grover norquist about his claim that letting the bush tax cuts expire
is the equivalent of a tax increase and violates the no tax pledge? >> well, there's so much that's absurd about the positions that he's taken. it's hard to know where to start. we have a spending problem absolutely. spending is a share of gdp gdp is the highest it's been in 60 years. revenue is the lowest it's been in 60 years as share of gdp. we're hemorrhaging revenue to offshore tax havens, abusive tax shelters and grover norquist says it violates some pledge. if you insist those people pay their fair share just like the vast majority do, shame on you grover norquist, let's have some patriot simple. let's have some people that come forward and say we understand when you're borrowing 41 cents of every dollar it's time for everybody to contribute and that includes the wealthiest among us that he apparently is so beholden to for whatever reason that he will accept no change.
i'll tell you those who accept no change to entitlements, no change to revenue consigned this country to a fiscal disaster. shame on them. >> senator kent conrad, we have to leave it there. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> so what would $3 trillion in savings mean to the nation's economic future? we have the president of the committee for the responsible federal budget and joins us now from new york. thanks so much for joining us. you've heard this debate so far. your response to what grover norquist is saying in "the new york times" and to me this morning? >> i think it's so clear if we're going to put together a package that's going to deal with the overall major debt situation that we're facing in this country, we have to look at everything in the budget. . what kent conrad and the gang of six said what he's looking at is done and the simpson commission has done has showed that there are ways to put everything on the table including defense, health care, social security and
revenues and do them in ways that are smart to it helped economic growth at the same time as we deal with our deficit and debt situation. if you take major parts of the budget off the table, the problem is so big we won't bo able to fix it and the politics are such that it's going to be impossible to get everybody around the table to come one a deal. it really is time for everybody to put these lines in the sand aside and start trying to fix the problem, which is what i think is gang of six did this week breathes a lot of new life into this whole discussion of how do we fix this problem in a way to get a lot of people to sign on and by doing it smartly that's going to help tremendously. >> do you think that the market, the rating agencies and others looking at it from the outside will take it seriously if there is some sort of agreement, a handshake whatever you call it between the president and the speaker of the house that has 217 votes and can get through the house, that there's an agreement for things that will be triggered down the road, is that going to be good enough, tax reform down the road? >> there's a lot of risk.
people tend not to believe politicians doing hard things later. at the same time we need to lift the debt ceiling. we need to do that right away. we don't have to time to develop every detail of the plan. fundamental tax reform is going to take some time. there are a couple of keys. one is we have as many specifics in an upfront down payment as possible. and second, is that we're going to look at how those triggering mechanisms work and make sure that they're set in place so that these decisions get done quickly. if we start talking about delaying this until after the election, that's troubling. an election it becomes too easy to demagogue all the hard things that we have to do. we want to put put this on a fast track to get it done in the next couple of months. then markets will find it particularly more paired with specific spending cuts up front. >> thank you so much. >> thank you. >> and what does mark warner think about the budget deals that's taking shape this day? he'll be joining us.
vet ran democratic senators explodded at bulgt director over the secret white house budget talks. mccull ski said she has not seen a meeting like that in 35 years in congress. feinstein says she's never seen frustration higher among rank and file democrats. mark warner is a member of the gang of six and a key player in these stalks. senator, you haven't been in on these negotiations in the last couple of days with the president and speaker. you're not a member of the leadership. do you feel shutout? do you understand why your foal he democrats are complaining?
>> i do think the senate's the third leg of the stool in terms of the house, the senate and the president. we need to be involved in these discussions. i think it's been a wild couple of days. we know finally with the emergence of the so-called gang of six plan. more than 1/3 of senates, first bipartisan effort we've seen in months. and i think that's still the framework to move forward. it's not perfect. one of the interest things, andrea is this is relatively a modest plan. $3.7 trillion over ten years which is about the low end of what we need to drive our debt to gdp ratio down. we've got everybody from left and right attacking it. if we simply kicked the can down, all this problem is going to get worse. why would we shut out the bipartisan in a whacky place at this point. >> just to drill down on this for a second, the president said it has to be a balanced approach. what we're hearing now is spending cuts more upfront that be tax reform.
and that doesn't sound like a balanced approach. >> that's why again, i don't want to keep coming back to the gang of six approach, but it has significant revenues. it had an upfront payment that had some cuts that also had a process with revenues involved. again, the perfect can be the enemy. the good i want to make sure that we do not default. that is the ultimate tax increase on everybody with increasing interest rates. i'm not sure why we wouldn't take the one piece of legislative idea out there that's got democrats and republicans agreeing traking that as a starting point. >> given how hard democrats fought and how much they paid, how heavily they paid in political terms for fighting for the health care plan, what if the president put that on the table down the road as one of the triggers, the mandate, the individual mandate in exchange for the bush tax cuts if nothing is produced on the tax and revenue side by 2013 as has been
reported? >> i don't know if that is true or not, andrea. i do know there are an awful lot of folks in the democratic caucus who would say why did we go through that fight around personal responsibility, the so-called individual mandate that was originally president bush 41s idea in terms of everybody had some responsibility for their own health care. this is why things are more than a little bizarre. the clock is ticking towards a default notion which everybody says they don't want to have happen except for this group in the house which i don't know what economic textbook they're reading that somehow dedpaulting on the nation's debt does anything other than throw us in an economic calamity. those of us trying to work if good faith, i keep coming back to something with good revenues, spending cuts, tax reforms. because otherwise some of the things that are otherwise being discussed i think you might have
a deal that might not actually get through the congress. >> and your own governor as you know, the republican governor bob mcdonell was telling us the other day because the rating agencies say virginia, your state is so sbriktly connected to the federal budget with all the workers and contracts being right here outside of d.c. that in fact, despite the budget surplus in virginia, you'll lose your aaa rating. vael will be downgraded if there's a serious default. governor mcdonell is saying republicans should compromise. >> amen. when i was governor one of the things i'm proudest of is virginia has the longest aaa bond rating of any state many the country. now that's put in jeopardy. some of these folks that say it doesn't matter, this will have a domino effect on every state, every locality and every business, every homeowner if we take this irresponsible action. i think it's just plain whacky some of these folks who are
saying no way, no how. bring on the default. it's crazy. >> okay. thank you very much mark warner good to see you. don't ask, don't tell is almost history. breaking news out of oslo also today, people reportedly still trapped in the government buildings hit by bombs today in norway. you're watching "andrea mitchell you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" reports. consider this: over 70% of firefighters are locavolunteers... these are our neighbors putting their lives on the line. and when they rely on a battery, there are firefighters everywhere who trust duracell. and now you can join with duracell to help. just buy specially-marked packs & duracell will make a battery donation to local volunteers. these days don't we all need someone to trust...? duracell. trusted everywhere. so delicious. i think you'll find it's the vegetables. deliciously rich. flavorful! [ female announcer ] together at last. introducing new stouffer's farmers' harvest
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the pentagon is certifying that allowing gays to serve actively in the military does not hurt unit cohesion. translation, the end of don't ask, don't tell. a ban that will officially end in september. joe williams covers the white house. this is a big deal. i was there at the beginning when don't ask, don't tell was first put in place by bill clinton. reluctantly but around pressure from the joint chiefs. this has been a difficult history politically. horrendous for so many men and
women in the military. thousands over this decade. >> absolutely. a lot of the argument back a couple years ago to repeal it was that the military was losing qualified people especially linguists were forced out because of their sexual orientation. it's also seen -- this repeal is seen as a very, very big win for gays and lesbians who are key supporters of the democrats and president obama. as you'll recall back in the fall he got heckled a couple of times. there's been constant pressure of him to remove the ban and this is going to be something that will go a long way towards having been reenthused about his campaign and re-election process. >> with legislation then for the past year, the service chiefs have been going and surveying people in the mill tar and working out the details with loving arrangements and such. this will be certified by the president in september. it will officially be lifted. they still have to work out some
details on benefit packages, correct? >> absolutely. that's one of the key provisions here. already the republicans are moving to block chaplains, military chaplains from marrying same sex couples in states where that might be legal if they're stationed there as mart part of the military operations. there's a lot of open questions that have not been resolved. benefits for spouses and dependents should same sex couples adopt children. what happens in a partner of a same sex military member gets killed or wounded overseas are there going to be rights to visit such a service member in the hospital. those sorts of questions are going to be hammered out over the long term. right now gays and lesbians are happy with getting step one out of the way. >> we have leon by net ta and mike mullen coming over to see the president today. we expect this will become official business. but we should really think back
with mike mullen and his testimony and the way he framed it as a moral issue. we tell the men and women of the military that it is the code of conduct to lie about anything once they're in the military and we're asking them to lie about this fundamental aspect of themselves. it was that testimony that was perhaps the most compelling to the senate. >> exactly. very, very powerful chairman mullen was very personal in how he described this sort of contradiction between what a service member is honored or bound to do. took an oath to join the military to do and something that official military policy is asking them to do. the contradiction was quite stark. he laid it out. he went a long way towards the momentum building to have this repeal lifted. >> for those who think it's a basic several rights issue that maybe mike mullen's greatest legacy. thank you very much, joe. >> my pleasure. and rupert murdoch's troubles following him across the ocean. plus it's hot and getting
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breaking news out of oslo, norway. an explosion has rocked that company's government headquarters including the office of the prime minister. is prime minister is safe. there are conflicting reports about how many people who might still be trapped inside the building. nbc's martin fletcher joins us now from london. martin, what do we know? >> andrea, there are reports of people being trapped inside of buildings. that's not clear whether that's the case. there have been conflicting reports about people that were killed. it appears now two people were killed and eight injured in the area. it was a tremendous blast. that whole area is full of government buildings. the prime minister's building is 17 stories high. almost every window was broken. it was feared that the prime
minister was inside the bidding at the time that he was hurt. he wasn't injured. although his office was damaged. the security people in oslo are not saying where the prime minister is for security reasons. there's also a great fear many the center of oslo that there may be more bombs. the police have warned people to leave the city center. they told people people to stay indoors. to clear the area of as many people as possible. there are suspicious packages reported outside several newspaper and tv buildings in the center of oslo. great concern about future bombs and the police are seriously looking for suspects. but no claim of responsibility yet, andrea. >> we don't know if this is domestic, foreign, some sort of al qaeda subsidiary. what about the reports of a man dressed as a policeman opening fire at a summer camp out of oslo? >> that's a very real thing. that happened a man was asking young people for iegs.
it was a youth kampb meeting for the la boar party of los low taking place as it does every year. the man opened fire with an automatic weapon. again, conflicting reports about people were killed or wounded. the latest report is from norweigian television that says four young people were killed in that meeting. the critical thing is that tomorrow the norweigian crime minister was scheduled to visit that youth camp to speak. the question of whether the two attacks are related are of course of great concern to security officials in norway. that's what they're investigating at the moment. >> thank you very much. i know you're going to stay on top of this throughout the day. also making headlines today, the justice department is preparing subpoenas to investigate whether or not news corp. hacked the voice mails of 9/11 victims. no corroboration on that yet. they're revealing if there's any criminal case against the subsidiary for hacking into the
come computer system of a competitor in new jersey. in a spral civil suit that advertising unit paid $29 million in damages to the competing firm to resolve hacking claims. the statute of limitations on any criminal charges have expired. rupert's son james murdoch is under fire under statemented released by two former news corp. executives. they say james murdoch lied to british lawmakers earlier this week. the nfl player's union is carrying the ball after owners approved a new ten-year contract yesterday. the players haven't voted yet. they're still looking over the offer. and most of the country, 150 million people are suffering the worst heat wave in memory. record-shattering temperatures, sweltering humidity, alleged more than two dozen deaths so far including an 18-year-old west point cadet. cutting the defense budget by up to a trillion dollars over the next ten years is being discussed inevitably will mean scaling back american
commitments overseas. request in the time" the president of fiscal relations said this would be a good thing saying it would address critical domestic needs and rebuild the foundation of this country's strength. it would be in a better position to. his term for such a doctrine is restoration. we have the author of that article now. you're alling this restoration hot isolationism. what would you say to those that say there's no difference that this really is isolationism? >> it's a charge that has been levelled. it's flat out wrong. isolationism is when the united states turns its back on real challenges in the world like before world war ii or world war i. what i'm saying is we should continue to engage and deal with real challenges, north korea,
iran or the middle east. we have to scale back, such as afghanistan or libya. so we scale back where things aren't vital. but just as important we focus domestically on doing the right things. it's not what we avoid, but also what we do. here at home consistent what we've been talking about on this show, we've got to get our fiscal house back in order. we've got to address such things as education, infrastructure, essentially all the basics of american competitiveness. >> what would a future president under your scenario say or future congress under pressure if you have muammar gadhafi saying i'm going thomas ker all the people in ben say sy? say never mind, it's nato's problem, saying we can help with some intelligence, but we're not going to spend money and send airplanes? >> in this case i don't think that was the situation. i believe the united states got involved when it didn't have to.
we want to be sure when someone threateningens to do something like that that mean to carry it out. in this case there's no evidence that gadhafi was going to do that. he wasn't going to do it given the nature of libyan society and history. i'm not saying we turn our backs on the world. there may be situations where vital national interests are not involved where we still would do something. there we would want to do it with others. just as important we want to be sure if we were do get involved we could accomplish some good at a reasonable cost. part of the problem with libya is not whether we should have gotten involved, but what we're doing. right now more people have died in an operation designed to improve the humanitarian situation than i believe had died under gadhafi. >> what do you think finally are the really important challenges? you mentioned iran. you mentioned north korea and the nuclear threat. pakistan? where would you focus your
attention? >> pakistan's an important challenge. there's not much we can do about it. we've tried all sorts of things there and nothing seems to work. i would say revitalizing our relationships in asia and the pacific. that's where history the going to be written in the 21st surgeriry. i would say involved there. better relations with ind ka ya with the countries of southeast asia. doing something about our energy situation that we're less vulnerable on vagaries of price and supply that would go a long way. again, i'd focus more at home on competitiveness, on improving our immigration policy. on the quality of our schools. on the quality of our transportation infrastructure and so forth. again, we have got to retore the foundations of american power. that's a prerequisite if we're going to lead in the world either by what we do or our example. >> restoration is the theme. i hope it's the subject of the next book. thanks so much for joining us.
>> thanks, andrea. >> it's very provocative richard. a word of warning the images you're about to see is hard to watch, that's buzz the tragedy of the african fa anyone is so profound. the people of the horn of africa are suffering because of years of drought leading to fa anyone exacerbated by civil war. the u.n. smimts more than 11 million people are affected. the situation is horrific. actress kristin davis serves as ambassador for oxfam and just returned from the trip to one of the areas ravaged by famine and joins us from l.a. thanks so much. it's great to see you. >> thank you. >> your report, we're hearing officially the u.n. finally classified the crisis in somalia as fa anyone yesterday. aid agencies have been saying it for a year. what can we do to help? >> from what i saw i was at a refugee camp, the largest ref e refugee camp in the world.
there's a huge stream of people coming in every day. it's more people than they can handle. really anything that anyone can do to help is need. just $1, i know times are tough for everybody. there's so little there. there's little water, sanitation, food, medical care. literally everything is needed. and the aid agencies are there and they're ready to help. we just need to raise our funding tremendously because of this huge stream of people. it kind of escalated quicker. i was actually in tanz na kor korea -- tanzania with oxfam doing other stories. when we heard the number of refugees coming into the camp it's stunning. when we went there we were profoundly shocked. it's hard to believe. it's hard to believe this could be happening in 2011. >> the u.n. has said that a billion dollars is needed to stave off the crisis. they've only raised about $200 million. they ever getting 9,000 people into that refugee camp a week?
>> correct. today at i got an update, there was thousands of people in line to be registered. that means those thousands of people have no food, no water, no shelter, no tenting the people i met had picked up other unaccompanied minors which are probably orphans along the way. i met two women who picked up five children and four children in addition to their own. they're many the middle of nowhere with thorny bushes to create a little home for these children with no cover, no shelter, no safety, no security. really anything that anyone can do. the governments play a huge part. i know that the u.n. and everyone is lobbying them. but times are tough as we know. soism just from a personal standpoint from what i saw just making the smallest donation can make a huge, huge difference to these people. oxfam is there a number of
wonderful aid organizations are there. oxfam has sent three tons of aid. they've handed out 20,000 dairy cans. a lot of people have to walk miles for water. they're ready to help. anything we can do is going to be of immediate assistance. >> the conditions in the camp are often worse than or as bad as what they fled. they have this horrific journey along the way. we have reports of mothers have been to abandon one child in order to save other children. it's hideous sophie's choice. >> extreme. >> and then they get to the camp and they have even worse conditions. >> it's hard to say what they're leaving. my thought when i was there from the people who had crossed from somalia is what they left must have been just horrific. when you're driving to the camp you see dead animals every wrchl that's how these people live is with their livestock. the conditions are so intense what they left must have been so horrible. their food prices have shut up
240% for a sore gum one of the basics of their do it. they left an extreme situation hoping at the catch there's aid for them. to see these people piled outside the camp not even able to get into the camp and also there wasn't a single person who had not been robbed on their journey. they have to leave children, children are stolen by heee nas. there are bandits who stole a woman's clothes. it's shocking what these people are going through. i feel so strongly that we need to try to just give them a drink of water. we're really talking about tiny, tiny human basics. i'm just happy to be a part of oxfam and the other agencies there trying to help them. they're going outside the camp with the aid because people are waiting so long just to get registered. oxfam is taking their water and sanitation needs outside the camp to the newcomers they call
them. >> kristin davis, thank you so much for drawing attention as you're using whatever power you have, your celebrity power to bring attention to this hideous crisis. >> thank you for having me. thank you. >> it's really been our pleasure. >> if you would like to find ways to help, you can visit our when site msnbc.com. also oxfam's website also oxfam's website oxfamamerica.org. in here, the planned combination of at&t and t-mobile would deliver our next generation mobile broadband experience to 55 million more americans, many in small towns and rural communities, giving them a new choice. we'll deliver better service, with thousands of new cell sites... for greater access to all the things you want, whenever you want them. it's the at&t network... and what's possible in here is almost impossible to say.
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i'm jeff rosen coming up on "news nation" today, the budget crunch across the country has one town going to drastic lengths to avoid bankruptcy. we're going the talk to a judge who's asking retired firefighters and police officers to give up half their pension or risk losing it all. plus a convicted killer grins and taunts his victim's husband in court. prompting the widower to lunge toward him. now the victim's husband faces
charges. it's the gut check. president obama's negotiations with john boehner have now infuriated some senate democrats. they erupted today echoing what house democrats have been saying for a week. congressman barney frank is ranking member of the financial services committee. congressman, how would you react to the deep that's being discussed? we're told if nothing is done between 2013 there's a tradeoff between bush tax cuts and the individual mandate? >> i can't think of the worst public policy. to put people through uncertainty about what health care is going to look like in 2013 is a bad joke. i want to talk about entitlement cuts. i am oefded by this notion that there should be a tradeoff between these things. whether or not 70-year-old woman living on $19,000 a year should
have certain restrictions on their income. i don't know where this notion came from that the social security adjust suspect is too lavish. in the past year social security got in inskrees and medicare went up. if you're on social security you're paying more for your medical care than income. i find that offensive. the notion of telling a woman who's worked for 45, 50 years as a store clerk. she's been doing all that work that she's got to keep working a few more years it's outrageous for to tell people that. i'm especially troubled, the obama administration is talking about keeping troops in iraq beyond the time that george bush said they should stay out at the cost of billions of dollars. i hope that's not true. that invalidates any notion that you make the sacrifice. one other thing troubles me, this notion of caps. it requires 60% or 67% to change
things. the american revolution theirs said the 1857 was democracy with majority rule. the american constitution says majority rule. no legislation requires more than a majority of both houses. impeachment is an exception on a treaty with a foreign country is an exception. regular legislation, no. the first time we're being told majority rule is overriding the constitution that minorities will govern. none of that makes any sense to me. >> what do you say to the president? is it better to default? you know you're at risk here with the ratings services and even else that have now gotten into this situation. he's facing the deadline. he's got to come up with the compromise. he's got a majority many the house. he's trying to work something out. is he going to lose the democratic caucus? >> i voted to raise the debt. the debt limit.
it's not my debt limit. i volted against the war in iraq. i voted against the bush tax cuts. on my debt limit i've got a couple trillion left to go, but i was very generous. i don't think the president should allow the irresponsiblity of the right wing to say we're going to shoot you if you don't do this. i don't want there to be a default, but there are worse things than default. worse things than default are wrenching the american government out of shape. losing the principal of majority rule that's been an important gift from america to the rest of the world. inflicting pain on the most vulnerable people in our society. continuing to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to subsidize military budgets and cut back on people here. by the way, i don't take that for granted. the fact is that the republican party, senator mcconnell has made clear they're getting very nervous about being blamed as they will be under this if this breaks down. so no, i don't think the president should take the position that i'll take anything you make me to do this.
>> one quick question on public policy, today does mark a day with leon panetta is certifying to the president to have united states that don't ask, don't tell should be history. your thoughts on this? >> let me say, just as with same sex marriage in many states many of the opponents of fair treatment for those who are gay or lesbian predicted this would lead to chaos. three years from now after a full integration of gay and lesbian and bisexual and transgender people openly serving in the military it's going to be clear that all of those complaints were baseless and one more example of how equality works much better than prejudice. >> thank you very much. an historic day, bar nebraska frank. thanks for being with us. who had the worst week in washington? it's not over yet. that's next on "andrea mitchell reports" only right here on msnbc.
. >> who had this worst week in washington? our managing editor of politics.com chris cillizza is joining us. and after she made some comments about her on the house floor, and have a moment where you get angry and write an angry e-mail and you put it in the save box and not the send box, but since it has been sent out and one other thing, andrea, he has to run in a district that is more democratic than he currently represents in florida. so while this will help him to raise money among some republican constituencies, it is not helping the controversy the the re-election help. >> well, don't hit send.
thank you very much. have a great weekend. that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports," and for the week. have a nice weekend, stay cool, if you can. and you can see more of the interview with grover norquist on msnbc nightly news, and follow the show on twitter at mitchell reports. ted ros zen is in for tamron ha. hello, ted.
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